my first thoughts were about my wife, and my family. i have the most common type of atrial fibrillation, or afib. it's not caused by a heart valve problem. i was taking warfarin, but my docr put me on pradaxa instead to reduce my risk of stroke. in a clinical trial, pradaxa® (dabigatran etexilate mesylate) reduced stroke risk 35% better than warfarin. and unlike warfarin, with pradaxa, there's no need for regular blood tests. that's really important to me. pradaxa can cause serious, sometimes fatal, bleeding. don't take pradaxa if you have abnormal bleeding and seek immediate medical care for unexpected signs of bleeding, like unusual bruising. pradaxa may increase your bleeding risk if you're 75 or older, have a bleeding condition like stomach ulcers, or take aspirin, nsaids, or blood thinners, or if you have kidney problems, especially if you take certain medicines. tell your doctor about all medicines you take, any planned medical or dental procedures, and don't stop taking pradaxa without your doctor's approval, as stopping may increase your stroke risk. other side effects include indigestion, stomach pain, upset, or burning.